Its been awhile since I last went, I used to enjoy it, so with a fair sized lake 5 mins away in the camper, reports of good sized Rudd, Tench and Carp to over 20lbs, off I went.
Bloody hell it was windy!! The lake is at the bottom of a valley near me, the wind is funneled down and gets quite brisk just where I wanted to fish, still I'm here now so lets get set up.Not knowing what to expect, I start out trying to freeline bread, which has been recommended as the favourite bait, under some bushes about 10 yards away, I'm using 8lb line with a 4lb hook to nylon and size 12 barbless hook, I am flicking the bread out 10 feet to the left of the bushes and letting the surface drift caused by the wind; take it underneath the edge of the bushes, I am also throwing pieces of bread into the bushes, this way it drops down through the leaves and looks more natural.
After 2 hours nothing, not a touch, I've tried from under my feet on the bank right across as far as I can cast. Time to switch tactics, I attach a small 1/2oz free running ledger to the line and switch to sweetcorn. Bingo, inside 5 minutes I have a strong run which unfortunately drops before I can strike. Never mind, I start rebaiting the hook when the bite indicator on the other rod shoots into the air, this time I am quick enough and and 2 minutes later I have a very strong fighting 4-5lb common carp in the net.
I rebait both rods and recast, one is straight out under the tress on the far bank, about 15-20 yards, the other is only 5 yards out to my left; back under the bushes.
Nothing for about an hour, then the bite indicator, which is a wine cork painted white with a hair clip sticking out of the end, starts to tremble, then rise very slowly, as I move over to the rod, the indicator smashes upwards and the line starts racing out of the open reel. Lifting the rod, I shut the bail arm and strike away from the direction the line is going, wallop! A fight is
This is the rod with 8lb lne and 4lb hook to nylon, this might be a mistake, the fish is going nuts, I'm struggling to turn it without snapping the line, its a very good heavy ledger rod though, it is taking the shocks and allowing me to use the rod to take the strain rather than the line.
I keep turning him away from the over hanging branches and snag on the far bank, eventually I land a prime condition 10lb mirror.
Two weeks later, my mate Barry wants to have a go down here, so he turns up and we head off, this time to Pett, a village down by Winchelsea beach. There is a bit of the canal opposite the smugglers inn (very handy) so we set up there, this time after some jack pike.
I start pulling in roach after roach for live bait and a few skimmers, Barry gets nothing, the pike lines are picking up nothing. Then Barry's pike bung takes off down river at speed, he lifts the rod, give the pike time to turn the fish and strikes. Nothing, the pike let go, the bite marks on the roach show it would have been a good jack.
I get a couple of runs on the pike line but cant hook them, but I'm still hitting the roach on the light rod, had about 40 roach and skimmers now, Barry still has nothing. Oops.
Just as I pull in another roach of about 6oz, two blokes walk up and ask how we are doing, they have been fishing in a match about a mile up the canal and reckon that the roach I just caught would have won the match!!
They had been fishing the match all morning and no one of them had caught a thing.
As they are talking to me, off goes my pike bung, I pick up the rod and strike, its a 2-3lb pike, after that we packed up.
Final score, me about 40 roach, skimmers and one small pike.
Barry.... er... better luck next time mate.
Not that bad considering.